HAMMOCK: Lifting a family affair for husband-wife team

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

In a healthy marriage, supporting one another is necessary. Spotting your spouse in weightlifting is optional.

Kelly Rexroad-Williams and her husband, Caleb Williams, who run Peak Performance Weightlifting in Buford, are fortunate enough to have both. In their world, it's a requirement.

Since they share common athletic goals and understand how much work it takes to get there, their partnership has led to great success. Their reward came last month when they became the first husband-wife team to win titles on the same day at the USA Weightlifting National Championships.

It was a sweet day for both, with the 26-year-old Williams winning his first title and Williams-Rexroad, 33, winning her second. Her first came when she was 17.

"It was a long time ago (when I won the first national title)," Williams-Rexroad said. "It was exciting to win it again and exciting to share it with (my husband)."

The two spend hours of quality time together in the gym -- so does their 5-year-old son Rex -- as part of their work and their training. It's an exhausting schedule, but it works for them because they're constantly together.

There's no spousal complaints about training too much in this relationship. They're in it together like they were prior to nationals' weigh-in, trading off shifts in the sauna to cut weight.

"Having somebody to train with is great, and to have somebody to train with that's at that level," Williams said. "A lot of people don't understand what it takes, the sacrifices you have to make to get to this level."

The level he speaks of is pretty high, especially for his wife.

Rexroad-Williams, five feet tall and deceptively strong, will compete for Team USA in November at the World Championships at Disney Land Paris. It's a brief break from her job as a teacher at Sugar Hill Christian Academy, but there are no breaks in her training as she aims to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.

"I have a lot of work to do to get (to the Olympics)," Rexroad-Williams said. "But I don't think I have any more work to do than anybody else out there. It's just about keeping the body healthy and getting a little stronger before (Olympic Trials in March). We'll see what happens."

As she trains to get ready, her husband will be by her side. Pushing her and pushing himself.

It's how their relationship works.

"We laugh that we don't know what we'll do when we quit lifting," Rexroad-Williams said.

"A lot of our quality time is spent in the gym lifting, so we'll have to find a new hobby."

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock.